West Lancashire Crematorium opens new baby memorial garden

Memorial garden

A steel memorial tree forms the centrepiece of a new Four Seasons Baby Garden which has been unveiled at West Lancashire Cemetery and Crematorium.

The new ‘secret garden’ area, away from the main chapel building, is a dedicated memorial area to remember babies and young children, including those lost in the early stages of pregnancy.

The steel tree at the heart of the garden is surrounded by four scatter beds to represent the four seasons. The tree has green leaves which can be removed and engraved with a personal memorial message before being replaced.

Bereaved families will have the opportunity to plant bulbs in the garden area in memory of babies and infants they have lost.

West Lancashire Cemetery and Crematorium is part of Westerleigh Group, one of the UK’s largest independent owners and operators of crematoria and cemeteries, with 37 sites in England, Scotland, and Wales, all set within beautifully landscaped gardens of remembrance which provide pleasant, peaceful places for people to visit and reflect.

The first service was conducted by Martin Abrams, Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy Lead at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital Trust, who said: “I have been privileged to be involved in the “Our Babies” services, for early pregnancy loss, since the first service around 25 years ago.

“The garden here is for all pregnancy, baby and child loss and I know from previous experience of supporting families at such a terribly sad time that having a baby garden to visit can be very special and helpful.

“I am so grateful for the support of the staff at West Lancashire Crematorium in creating the garden, which we have dedicated to be a place of hope and remembrance, where people can come and weep and remember, where uncertainties, grief sadness, love and hope can be expressed, but above all loved ones remembered.”

Southport and Ormskirk Hospital’s monthly ‘our babies’ service at the crematorium will also be using the new Four Seasons Baby Garden for each of its regular events.

Funenral director Alex Bouton and his wife Charlotte helped to officially open the new garden, in remembrance of the loss of their three-month-old son Finley last year.

Charlotte said: “When we lost Finley, we also lost all our hopes and dreams of seeing the life he should have had and experiencing the joy of him growing up in our family.

“We are left with aching arms, indescribable sadness and everlasting love for him.

“Having this beautiful garden to reflect and remember is a precious gift to grieving families like ours. The baby loss community is one that none of us want to be part of but the unspoken understanding and empathy between us all is one of the few comforts in our grief.

“Having a memorial garden for us to remember our babies is a wonderful gift from Westerleigh Group.”

Site manager Laura Linnane said: “The loss of a loved one is always a very difficult and emotional time, but losing a baby or infant can be particularly traumatic.

“That’s why we wanted to create a special area, away from the main chapel building and other facilities, where families could come for quiet moments of reflection and remembrance.

“We hope this new garden will be a focus of support and care for those who go through a pregnancy, baby or child loss.”

Find out more about West Lancashire Cemetery and Crematorium here.

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